Risk assets of all stripes were higher last week, as US economic data continued to point towards a strong recovery while inflation fears eased a bit. Technology and cyclical stocks saw the strongest demand, while investors pared back their exposure to traditional defensives like real estate, consumer staples, and healthcare. International stocks were higher, with emerging markets outperforming developed markets on increased risk appetite.
Treasury yields fell across the curve despite the risk-on market tone, with benchmark 10y yields lower by 3bp while 30y yields fell 4bp. Meanwhile, corporate credit spreads compressed to their tightest levels since 2007, with the average spread on the Bloomberg/Barclays US Credit Index closing at 79bp. See the Chart of the Week for a time series.
Most commodity prices rose, with oil setting a new pandemic-era high on Thursday before easing back slightly on Friday.
Economic news in the US was mostly positive. Double-digit home price appreciation continued across most of the country, with signs emerging that affordability is beginning to impact transaction volumes. Consumer confidence measures held steady at healthy levels in May, jobless claims continued to trend lower, and durable goods orders (excluding the volatile transportation component) were higher.